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Applications to perform or to propose a clinic at the 68th Annual Midwest Clinic are now available!

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Sound Production on Percussion Instruments

  • thumbnail for William James
  • Sound quality and sound production are not topics usually associated with percussion instruments and yet they are one of the first topics covered for all wind, brass and string instruments. Would we be satisfied with a trumpet player if they simply played their part rhythmically accurate with a bad sound? Of course not! Today's clinic will focus on the sounds percussionists make. I will approach each instrument from 3 perspectives: 1. How we can make the instruments sound better by the physical things we do. 2. How we can listen to the sounds we are making more efficiently. 3. How we can ask better questions and give better directions to our students.
  • William James (
  • 12/17/2015 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM
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  • William J. James is the Principal Percussionist of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra. He won the position at the age of 25 and is still one of the youngest Principal Percussionists in the country. Prior to moving to Saint Louis, he was a member of the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, Florida. He graduated from New England Conservatory in 2006 with a Masters of Music as a student of Will Hudgins of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He received his Bachelor of Music Degree from Northwestern University in 2004. While attending Northwestern, he studied with Michael Burritt, an active soloist and clinician throughout the country, and James Ross, a member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. You can follow Will @wjpercussion on Twitter and read his blog at